Saturday, December 19, 2009

A night in the life of a VC sister...

Can you believe that Christmas is less than 2 weeks away? I can't! Everything is going by so fast. Between this email and the next I will hit my six-month mark, which means that a third of my mission is already gone :( I think I can honestly say that it has been the fastest six months of my life. I wish the next year would slow down, but from what I've heard it is just the opposite. One thing that doesn't help is that our time isn't split into months anymore, but into our 6 week transfers.

Since most of my missionary time right now is spent at the VC, I thought I would explain a little about how Christmas Lights at the VC work. There are 9 posts in the VC and we rotate through 6 of them every night. We are in Zebra companionships (I think I explained before, but that means 1 English and 1 Spanish sister). I will just start describing from the first post.

Front steps: We stand out on the front porch and invite people to come into the VC. A lot of people think that the VC is part of the temple and that they are not allowed to come inside, so we invite everyone in. We talk to as many people as we can, inviting members to think of friends they could invite to hear the gospel, and inviting nonmembers to meet with missionaries. There are also Elders assigned on the temple grounds every night, also contacting people. We aren't allowed to stray past the 2 steps of the porch, because past that is where elders are assigned. We say that we can't step in the "lava" just like when we were little kids playing with couch cushions. Likewise, the elders aren't allowed to come into the VC at all during the night. Needless to say, we are more obedient than they are in this matter and never step in the lava, while the director is still having trouble with the elders coming in.

Front greet: we then move inside where it is still cold because the doors keep opening, but too warm that you look silly if you keep your coat on. Here we welcome everyone that comes into the VC and again, ask everyone to refer someone, either themself or a friend. I got to speak Russian here the other night. The women were really nice, one from Moscow and one from Ukraine. They said that I just needed to keep practicing because I had very good pronunciation :) We also direct people to different parts of the VC and try and keep them reverent and away from the curtains, behind which is the...

Christus: Here we present the narration that goes with the Christus statue. We play it both in English and Spanish (unless there are no Spanish speakers). We also get to play it in other languages if there are people visiting from other countries. We always play it in the other languages first, then Spanish, then English, because we have found that by doing it the other way, the English speakers always get up in the middle of the other languages or while you are ending the presentation in another language and leave the room. Not polite or reverent, so we make them wait :) "Through the door behind us, you can see a 6 minute presentation about the birth of Christ called...

Luke 2: In both of the theaters we show Luke 2. While one theater is playing it, the other is seating for it. Again, our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, so we give everyone referral cards. It gets frustrating when members say "I'm a member, I don't need that." Little do they know that they almost need it more. A sister the other day told me to tell them "If you don't like missionary work you aren't going to like the celestial kingdom." That is the hardest thing for me on my mission, learning how to work with members and elders. The elders take the cards away from their investigators, thinking they don't need them because they are already meeting with missionaries. However, sharing the gospel with others is such an important step in conversion. When the elders don't take cards or take them from their investigators they don't understand their purpose. Same thing with the members. I had a member the other day who wouldn't take a card, she said "We don't need that." So when she passed I ignored her and, because I believe people have their individual agency, handed one to the people she was with, who I am pretty sure were not members. She turned back and said "I said we don't need them, they are from Costa Rica." My thought: people in Costa Rica need the gospel too! We watch the Luke 2 movie so much, that we can quote it in Hebrew and Arabic. I am actually pretty sure I can understand the Arabic in it because I have heard it so much. We can also sing the last line of the film "Let earth... receive... baaaaah... her king."

Then we move on to the Savior of the World room. Just like the other floor posts *Front greet, back greet, and nativities) we talk to everyone.

Then at God's Plan for His Family we take turns showing it in English and Spanish. We also have that one memorized. I haven't decided if I have a favorite post yet. Most sisters prefer the floor posts versus the presentation posts (Christus, Theaters, God's Plan) because you can go up and talk to individual people, and it isn't as repetitive. I think I agree with them. I personally really like ...

Back greet, because that is where my favorite exhibit, the Book of Mormon table, is. I love going up to the people looking at them and starting a conversation. I feel like that is something that I can relate to because of my background, so whether or not they speak another language, I can relate to the people you just plain find it interesting. Also, that seems to be where you are most likely to find out that people are from other countries. I have already met 2 groups from Iran. One man said that he would come back so that I could give him a Book of Mormon in Farsi (we were out at the time). People are always impressed that the church has published it in their language. I think it helps them to feel how important they are to someone, and as they begin to learn more about the church and find out it is the true church of God, they will realize that it is their Father in Heaven that they are so important to. I hope all of you know that. As missionaries we have the great blessing of being able to feel a small percentage of the love our Father and His Son have for each of you and I hope I'll be able to feel that for the rest of my life!

Thought for the week- President Bassett read this scripture at our Mission Conference and because of something that had been said earlier in the meeting it made me think of faith, hope and charity. I had never noticed it before in this scripture, but those three important things are what give us eternal life: (I am translating this from my Spanish BofM)

2 Ne 31:20 Wherefore, you must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ (faith), having a perfect brightness of hope (hope) and a love of God and of all mankind (charity). For behold, if you press forward, delighting in the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father, you shall have eternal life.

De Mesa con Amor,

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